Jun 08, 2015
By Jose Diaz
Jose's blog first appeared in Wireless Week.
We've heard it time and time again: Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS). And now, after attending TM Forum this week, it looks like this applies to Big Data strategies too.
Many of our discussions surrounded Big Data, but above all else, the hot topic at this year's event was the need for a radical simplification of systems and processes that meet the business needs of today, while preparing for the future.
Long gone are the days when the most effective strategies that emerged from the operators' IT departments loaded up on new platforms, systems and "critical" functionality that were often underutilized, or even worst yet, not fully deployed. Essentially, through this stockpile of technology, we all have contributed to what I call, "Telco Diogenes Syndrome."
To overcome this "syndrome", operators need to focus on making their infrastructures "lean and mean" to develop a digital ecosystem that can manage Big Data as well as The Internet of Things (IoT), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN)—and be ready for innovative technologies on the horizon. After hearing about all the legacy systems that are still managing major functions in businesses, this is no easy task.
Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities
Attendees couldn´t walk three steps at the show without bumping into operators, most of them key decision makers, with whom the subject of the conversation was Big Data. The discussions focused more on what to do with it and how to deploy the processes that will allow operators to squeeze out the "ambrosia" from their vast amount of data.
We all agreed, the volume and variety of data that is being passed through networks is staggering. Big Data is growing at an exponential rate, and companies will need to prepare themselves at a rate just as fast, if not faster. It's no longer just data, it's also the analysis of the data which is critical as well as how to monetize it. It's definitely full of challenges, but with more opportunities to make data profitable.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: Business, Technology & Regulatory
We've found that Big Data's biggest challenges can be divided into three silos: business, technology and regulatory.
We need to focus on business analytics, accurate forecasting, adopting new tools and technologies, and getting real-time insights. One of the biggest questions we discussed was how can we monetize Big Data? How can we gain profit from something that seems to be costing us time, money and resources to keep up with?
Real-time insights are the key to making sure that the analytics and forecasting are worth it. Time is essential. Companies want to know what's going on immediately so they can figure out how to respond accordingly. Big Data can do this.
Simplify, simplify, simplify! Agile IT is the business and simplification is the key. Much of the event and extensive primary research in this area over the last 18 months can be summed up: From an architectural point of view, the fewer systems you have, the more agile you will be.
Some key areas of focus:
We need to be aware of existing and new regulations that restrict the use, storage and collection of certain types of data. Will Europe be the next to make up its mind on net neutrality?
Across these three silos, there must be collaboration to overcome these challenges. For example, the business and technology silos need to work together to find synergies and automate IT and business processes for the most efficient and effective operation across the enterprise. Work together as a team Less is more.
Endless Opportunities: More Revenue
Despite all the challenges, there are many opportunities for operators to monetize on Big Data. These include:
Key Takeaways from TMForum for Big Data Strategies
Operators need to take the time to build a short-term and a long-term strategy:
For the short term, construct an initial assessment in terms of challenges in business, technology and regulatory. For your long-term strategy, it's important to:
The Big Data train has left the station and is moving full steam ahead. It's gaining speed so rapidly that it's time for everyone to be on board. Industry analysts predict that global data traffic will be 100 trillion GB by 2025. Are you ready?
Jose Diaz is EMEA VP Business Development at Excelacom; he is responsible for the EMEA strategy, planning and execution of all aspects of Excelacom’s sales efforts.More about Jose
Innovation meets performance.